Wednesday, August 3, 2011

Welcome to the Terrific Two’s

My youngest daughter just turned two and we celebrated this past weekend with a family party. The theme was Barney and as I ranted in my previous post I was determined to go the subtle route on Barney decorations and colors.

I gotta tell you though, two years ago I knew nothing about dessert tables, candy buffets, cake pops or anything on a stick other than lollipops. I didn't know cupcake toppers existed or even considered serving cupcakes at a party. I guess I was living in the dark ages. I only began discovering those things when I started FavorCakes and was introduced to the business of parties.

I'm certainly no pro, but I had a lot of fun decorating and creating treats for the Barney dessert table. Here are some more photos of the display.

I frosted Nilla Wafers with colored frosting and embellished them with her age and initials. And how cute are these custom cupcakes I ordered from a local bakery!

The other treats included S'more Pops and Fruit Kebabs which were great mess free treats.

I used a lavender table cloth and made a runner from green and white striped wrapping paper. I also painted two large paper mache ovals to create decorative dinosaur eggs for the display.

I found these Barney cupcake toppers on Etsy. I also created a name display with some styrofoam, colorful cardstock, and toothpicks.

This was the only picture I was able to get of the Birthday girl being still in her custom Barney dress that I ordered .from Etsy.

I wish I had taken a photo of the purple polka dot balloons that I found on eBay but I guess I wasn't thinking at the time. Anyways, thanks for looking!
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Sunday, July 10, 2011

Where the Hell is Barney?

I'm in the midst of planning a birthday party for my youngest daughter who's turning two. She's totally in love with Barney the Dinosaur so picking a theme was a no brainer however finding Barney stuff has not been so easy. Let me rephrase that, finding Barney stuff that won't look like a leprechaun puked up rainbow in my house hasn't been so easy.

For example, when you google "Barney party supplies" this is what typically surfaces. No offense, but all of these colors together hurt my eyes so I've been on a mission to create a more toned down Barney atmosphere that doesn't induce seizures.

 I had do some searching and digging online but I eventually came across some appealing Barney related items. I pinned them with Pinterest to serve as my inspiration board.

And today I began ordering items for the party which includes these cute green and purple printables and this adorable Barney dress so now I'm really excited to start putting this shindig together. I'll be sure to post pictures of the finished party designed once it's finished. 
Paper Party Passion
Caterpillar Kids
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Friday, July 8, 2011

A Neighborly Treat

This week I was feeling a bit neighborly so I  decided to make Spiced Tropical Tea Coolers to share with my next door neighbors. The recipe is from an old Pampered Chef cookbook I had lying around. It's easy to make and a nice alternative to ice tea on a  hot Summer day.

I typed up the recipe and glued it inside of a colorful notecard so my neighbors can make their own tea if they so wish. And forget the fancy cups, I personally like to drink my tea out of a jar style glass full of ice.

I also picked up a couple of plastic green pitchers from my local Wal-Mart for around $2 each. They're cute and cheap and I don't have to hound my neighbors about returning my dishes, ha ha ha :-) The final touch was a cupful of ice and some orange slices and it's ready to go.

 Here is the recipe below if you'd like to try it for yourself. Enjoy!

Spiced tropical tea cooler

· 6 cups water, divided
· 6 tea bags flavored with orange and spice
· 1 large fresh mint sprig
· 1 can (12 ounces)
· 1/4 cup sugar
· Ice cubes
· Orange and additional fresh mint (optional)

1. Bring 4 cups of the water to a boil. Place tea bags and mint in bowl; carefully add boiling water. Let steep 5 minutes. Remove tea bags and mint.                                                                                                                              
2. Place remaining 2 cups water, juice concentrate and sugar in a pitcher. Add hot tea; plunge until well mixed. Refrigerate at least 2 hours or overnight.
3. To serve, pour tea mixture into ice-filled glasses. Score orange using zester; cut into thin slices. Garnish iced tea with orange slices and mint, if desired.

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Sunday, July 3, 2011

A 4th of July First

Outside of doing my FavorCakes, I don't really consider myself "crafty" in other areas. I don't sew, I don't really cook or bake, I'm not very good at decorating around my house. Okay, maybe that's not so much craftiness as it is domestic skills. Good thing my husband loves me the way I am :-)

When it comes to major holidays, I usually leave the baking and decor to my mother. She's good at it and she enjoys doing it so why rock the boat. Well, this year my family and I were invited to a little Independence Day shindig and everyone was asked to bring something to share. I don't know what came over me but I had the urge to bring something homemade, easy to make, but still homemade.

I did a little searching online and found two easy recipes, one for Pretzel Sparklers on and another for 4th of July Marshmallow Pops on With partial help from my five year old, VOILA!, this was the end result. 

The 4th of July tags were also courtesy of and the cups, baskets, and fillers were from my local Dollar Tree.

Hope you have a Fabulous 4th of July!
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Tuesday, February 1, 2011

Valentines FavorCake Winner

Good Morning! Thank you to everyone who commented on the Valentines FavorCake Giveaway.  I really enjoyed reading all your comments, heartfelt and funny. It really proves that Valentines is not always about the gift but about creating memories.

Now on to our winner. I used to pick a comment number and a big congratulations to pinky1904. You will receive a handmade Valentines FavorCake with 12 boxes filled with candy.

I hope everyone has a Terrific Tuesday and a Happy Valentines Day this year!
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Thursday, January 27, 2011

Oh the Funk!

So for the past week or so I have been in a funk. I think it's the stay at home mom blues. You might know how that song goes: wake up everyday to the routine of cooking, cleaning, nursing, feeding, wiping noses, wiping bottoms, running errands, running the kids around, more cooking and cleaning, getting the kids to bed, finishing up any work once the kids are sleep, and finally going to bed yourself so you can do it again tomorrow.

Don't get me wrong, I wouldn't trade in being at home with my girls for the world. I've just realized that there's something missing, time for me.  I honestly don't remember the last time I did something for myself or went somewhere by myself without the kids.  I am in desperate need of a mommy makeover and I definitely need more date nights with the hubby so we don't feel so much like passing ships within our house.

So what am I doing about it? Well, the first thing I'm going to do is schedule a hair appointment. From there, maybe listen to a little Parliament "We Want the Funk" and figure out the rest :-)

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Friday, January 14, 2011

Share the Love: Valentines FavorCake Giveaway.

I hope everyone is having a great start to 2011.  Valentines Day is a month away and one of the running jokes between my husband and I is our very first Valentines together before we were married. My husband, then boyfriend, took me to the experimental theater to see a play about the assassination of Abraham Lincoln. Yeah. Screams romantic, right? Ten years later, I still won't let him live that one down :-)

On to the giveaway, one lucky winner will receive a handmade Valentines theme FavorCake with 12 boxes, filled with candy.  To enter, leave a comment below telling me the best, worst, funniest, or most memorable Valentines gift you've received. Don't forget to leave your email with your entry. I will pick one winner at random and announce it on my blog Tuesday February 1st. Contest closes on January 31, 2011 at 11:59pm CST.

Thanks for participating!
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Thursday, January 6, 2011

The Dishes Can Wait, Right?

Yesterday, after picking up my oldest daughter from dance class, my one year old was pretty tired by the time we got home. I was able to effortlessly lay her down for a nap in her crib (that's a big deal in my house). Soon after, my mind was swarming with things I could accomplish while she was sleep. I could do the dishes maybe get a load of laundry folded and put away. The cleaning possibilities were endless but I suddenly remembered that my oldest received a jewelry making kit for Christmas that she had been asking me to help her with.

I wish I could say my decision was easy but I'd be lying if I did. I just told myself that the dishes and laundry would still be there and it would get done eventually. So I pulled out the jewelry kit and brought it out to my four year old. Of course the moment her face lit up, I immediately forgot about the pending housework.  Afterall, the smile on her face says it all.

The dishes did eventually get done. As for the laundry . . .eh.
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Wednesday, January 5, 2011

Learning to Embrace the "B" Word . . . Balance!

This past Monday was the first time I've finished a new cake creation since November. At that point two months ago I was on the verge of burn out. I knew I needed to step back and take a breather and that's exactly what I did. I completed my last custom orders, put my Etsy shop on vacation and closed the door to my craft room.

I couldn't have imagined how much FavorCakes would take off in 2010 but it did and it's been great. Orders were coming in left and right and my creative juices were flowing with new cake designs. My biggest struggle however was balancing my time between family and a growing business. During the day I was taking care of my two girls, ages four and one, and at night I was working on orders. I discovered what an amazing support system I have with my husband, my mother, and good friends who willingly stepped in to help when I needed it. I also learned to function on very few hours of sleep for about a year before it started catching up with me.

After a while, I felt like I was living in my craft room and spending less time with my family. At one point my four year old said to me, "Mom, you need to start having fun." I guess that was her way of saying I was working an awful lot. Of course that was no one's fault but my own. I just wasn't maintaining a balance between work and family. I mean, how exactly do you do that? I haven't figured out the answer yet but I have learned that if I want balance I have to set boundaries, for myself, for my family, and for my business.

I'm still a work in progress but I'm working on getting more organized, saying no to rush orders, even setting an earlier bedtime for my girls and for myself. As for having more fun, we just bought tickets to go see that big purple dinosaur that my girls love so much.

Oh and lastly, here's a picture of the latest FavorCake I made for a boy's baby shower. Ahh, it feels good to create again.

Happy New Year!
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Tuesday, January 4, 2011

A Fast Food Fast for the NON-Cook

So a new year has begun and I refuse to utter those three words. You know those words that describe what you plan on losing, quitting, giving up, taking up, not spending, saving, doing, or not doing. Yeah, those things that statistics show many of us only stick to for about a week or two at most.

I do however have a plan for me and my family to practice for the next 30 days. My husband and I agree that we've spent way too much on eating out. How much is too much? How about $3000 or rather $3148.26 to be exact? To some  that may seem like a drop in the bucket, others may think "Holy Cow!".  That was actually my reaction. Tallying up how much we've spent in one year's time at McDonalds, Sonic, Subway, Taco Bell, Taco Cabana, Popeyes, KFC, Whataburger, Jack in the Box, Wendy's, Pizza Hut, Mr. Gattis and many other places was a shock to the system. Kind of brings a whole new meaning to the phrase "It really adds up". Hell, that money could have made for a nice family vacation somewhere.

As a result my husband and I have come up with a simple idea, a fast food fast for one month. I just hope executing that plan will be simple too. We're keeping the house stocked with as many snacks and easy to prepare meals as possible to keep the temptation of eating out at bay, even if that means making several trips to the grocery store right now.

So why am I sharing this? I don't know. Maybe to keep myself accountable, to elicit some mental support and positive energy from my social network, or maybe even inspire another family who is experiencing the same thing as mine. And what happens after the 30 days? I don't know that either, my goal is to take it one day at a time and to accept store bought cheese enchiladas instead of the ones at the Mexican restaurant down the street, at least for the time being.
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